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Regionalism or Multilateralism? A+L3787 Political Economy Choice

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  • Giorgia Albertin

Abstract

This paper provides a political economy analysis of the incentives underpinning a country''s decision to enter a regional trade agreement when a multilateral free trade agreement is available, and of how entering a regional trade agreement affects the incentives to pursue multilateral trade liberalization. Taking into account the influence exerted by organized interest groups in the formation of trade agreements, we derive a formal condition under which a regional trade agreement is preferred to a multilateral one. Furthermore, we show that a country''s decision to enter a regional trade agreement unambiguously undermines the incentives towards multilateral trade liberalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 08/65.

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Length: 26
Date of creation: 01 Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:08/65

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  1. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2003. "The Empirics of Agglomeration and Trade," Working Papers 2003-15, CEPII research center.
  2. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 1997. "Lobbying and the Structure of Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 1574, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  16. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1717-1735, October.
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  19. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 1996. "The size of trading blocs Market power and world welfare effects," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 411-437, May.
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